The Call has a fairly low rating, critically, which isn’t exactly surprising. It is a suspense movie about a 911 operator, Jordan, who takes a kidnapping in progress call, which ends ends in the death of the caller. The operator decides to turn to teaching instead of taking calls, feeling somewhat responsible for the girl’s death.
(Spoiler: Yeah, I kinda think she is.)
During a floor tour with her students, she ends up replacing a noob on a familiar kidnapping-in-progress call that the noob operator is flubbing. What Jordan doesn’t know, but the viewer does, is that our kidnapper is the same person as before.
What follows is movie that is sort of like a neutered Die Hard. Action punctuated by phone convos! Though a good portion of the movie takes place in either the trunk of a car or the call floor, it is surprisingly action packed.
The ending is bullshit. I’ll get to that.
I watched this at home (on my fantastic movie channel), so I didn’t have any sort of issue. On a larger, better TV, there were some Taken-style pulls and jump-scares that might get some one. I’ve added Zonegran back into my meds, so I’m a bit dizzy, so that might have made the pulls and jumps a little stronger than they actually they are.
A lot of this is dark, close up on faces, modern gore-horror visuals without the actual gore horror.
It contrasts with the mood-lit 911 offices and the outside shots of cops searching for the kidnapped victim. Nothing especially fancy, but it does its job.
Halle does a lackluster job, really. She’s got the big-eyes, wtf! down, but I don’t really buy her PTSD on acting, I buy it on understanding how and why PTSD happens and what happens to her character.
Abigail, however, does a really good job acting freaked the hell out. It made me nervous, I felt scared for her.
Mihael Eklund was horrifyingly horrifying without being too torture porn. The sweating the teeth gritting the tense neck and shoulders. The sniffing scalps.
Really, it was the pacing and the writing and the cinematography that made this interesting.
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Interesting to Note:
I spent a lot of years working phones. I’ve not done 911, but I did answering service work for doctors offices and tow services. Just regular doctor calls and broken down cars at three a.m. can be difficult to handle. I once considered applying for a job with emergency phone services, but good lord, I know I don’t have the emotional stability to handle the work. Even if most of the calls are simple things (which I can’t imagine they are – I’ve only called an emergency line once, and that’s when that guy was trying to break into my apartment), it has to be high pressure work.
My point being: Respect.
I enjoyed it. Once upon a time I was one of those people that only focused on the high-brow film, but in the past five years or so I’m suddenly all about things that excite me! And this did it.